My teacher in Ireland used to say:

use the tools until you don’t need them anymore.

“The tools” are essential oils and flower essences, teas and tarot cards, crystals, and malas and rosary beads.

They are the candles you light to hone your focus, the breathing exercises that calm your mind, and the shells and stones on your windowsill-alter reminding you what you are made of.

“The tools” help our physical selves connect with our inner-wisdom, our energy bodies, our souls.

This Jewish girl has owned rosary beads and Kwan Yin statues, citrine points and oracle decks…

… because they help me to connect with the deepest parts of me.

Running the rosary through my fingers brings me peace not because I am saying Hail Marys but because I used my beads during an intensive weekend on the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; their soothing regularity puts me on my path, a gentle reminder of rhythm in my daily life.

An object is just an object until you infuse it with meaning and energy…

… or, sometimes, we come across something that someone else has infused and the object feels a bit alive, like it has being. 

Think of your grandmother’s favorite necklace or the small spade your mother used all summer in the garden….  feel don’t think. This is something your heart knows, even when your brain protests.

“The tools” are touchstones that provide a sensual experience which help you to stay grounded in your body as you do your spiritual work. And make no mistake, wellness, done this way, is spiritual work.

Which is why I think of this path that I walk, that you walk, as The Earth Path.

It is a path not only of respect for the planet but of embodiment, of knowing we are made, not just of star-stuff, but of earth matter.

“The tools,” they don’t make you spiritual and they certainly don’t make you well.

And, no, you don’t need them.

But they can be a reminder, a doorway, a focus point, a mirror, and a connection to your inner-wisdom and your own true self…

… because turning inward and finding you is the best path outward into the greater mystery.

(And that, ultimately, is what you need to be spiritual.)

With big hugs,